Jane Fonda, 85, reflects on youth and body dysmorphia: ‘I was pretty lost’

Jane Fonda
Photo credit Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Jane Fonda is opening up about her struggles with self-image throughout her life.

The iconic actress recently chatted with PEOPLE for its newest cover story in advance of her upcoming movie “Book Club: The Next Chapter” about a variety of subjects, including her rough childhood.

“Being young is really hard. Don’t let anyone kid you,” she told the publication. “I wish when I was younger, someone had said to me, ‘Don’t give up. Keep going. It’ll get better.’”

Fonda didn’t even want to be an actress as a youth.

“Young me did not want to be an actor. I didn’t think I had talent. I didn’t think I was pretty enough. I had a lot of body dysmorphia,” she shared. “I was pretty lost as a young person.”

The conversation also turned to Fonda’s early 80s fitness influencing, when she released the popular “Jane Fonda’s Workout”. The exercise tapes sold more than 17 million copies.

"So many women said to me, 'My whole attitude about myself changed,' " she said. "That meant the world to me."

Fonda went on to touch on how so many of the issues she had when younger have been resolved as she’s grown older, which have led to her current happiness.

"Who am I? What am I supposed to do in life? All of that has been answered. I don't take anything for granted, and I'm just amazed that at my age I'm still working and have a lot of energy,” she said.

“Book Club: The Next Chapter” hits theaters May 12.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images